You've decided to hold an open house.  How do you effectively run an open house on your own?

Before potential buyers even step into your home, there are several ways to prepare your property to ensure your open house is a success.

Prepare your Home
Make a good first impression. Don't forget about the exterior of your home. How your property appears from the outside is just as important and how it looks on the inside.

Keep these tips in mind:

  • Fix what is broken or damaged. Consider painting or touch ups, if necessary. Pay attention to the condition of your windows, shutters, screens and gutters. 

  • Make clever updates based on what buyers want and what is standard for your neighborhood.

  • Remove all vehicles, bikes, and toys from the driveway. Mow the lawn and trim the hedges. Make sure the front door is spotless, including hardware.

  • Inside your home, cleanliness is key. Most important, clean the front hallway,
    kitchen. and bathrooms. Clean or replace your carpets, if possible.

Stage your Home
Stage your home by de-cluttering, de-personalizing and neutralizing, among other techniques. Walk through your property and think "Less is more."

  • Your home should be spotless and clutter-free. Remove all items from counter tops in the kitchen and bathrooms. Your goal is to have counters with nothing but an accent piece such as flowers on it. Appliances should be removed and stored in cabinets.

  • Place furniture in such a way to maximize the spacious feel of every room. Ensure that potential buyers don't have to walk around furniture to enter the room or squeeze through any tight spaces between furniture.

  • Let in light: Open all the drapes, blinds, and window coverings. Turn on lamps and overhead fixtures.

  • Do not use an air freshener as many people are allergic to synthetic odors. If your carpets have odor, sprinkle baking soda over the surface for a few hours then vacuum to remove any unpleasant smells.

  • If budget permits, serve light refreshments or snacks. We recommend snacks or sweets that are a single bite, don't make fingers dirty, and don't leave crumbs.

Create a Flyer or Property Description Sheet
Create a flyer or property description sheet and hand them out to everyone who attends the open house. Include key points and unique features of your home, as well as practical details such as address, contact information, price, photos, square footage, bedrooms/bathrooms, etc. —a cheat sheet people can take home. HomeLister can create a custom flyer for your property. It is included in the Premium and Platinum packages and can be added to the Basic package here.

Prepare a Sign In Sheet
Prepare a sign-in sheet for guests to fill out their name, phone number, and email address. HomeLister offers a digital sign-in sheet and a print out sheet which can be accessed here.

Be a Gracious Host
Greet each guest with a smile as they enter your home. The key is to maintain a friendly yet professional attitude while giving them the freedom to view the place on their own.


  • If you have pets, consider leaving them with a friend or a boarding facility for the day.

  • Hide all valuables, medication, and other personal items.

  • Greet each guest with a smile and hand them a property sheet.

  • Invite guests to tour the home at their leisure and offer to answer any questions they may have. Point out the most attractive features of the home.

  • Get feedback from each guest, including their level of interest in the home, other homes they've seen and how the home is priced compared to others on the market.

Follow Up
The day after the open house, send a "Thank You" email to everyone who attended the open house with a link to your listing.

Another option is to call each person within the following week and ask if they have any questions about the house and if they are considering it. At the very least you may pick up valuable information about the impression your property is making and some helpful tips on areas of improvement. 


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